May 1, 2007 5:34am
This one's for Max
Down this page somewhere is a thread started by Max Chorak:
"Describe going to a show,
Did you ever see the band before or after, or wait around? Did you see them talking and stuff? What did you do at the breaks?? Was there a lot of crowd/band interaction? I can only get so much through the "tunings" on the shows here.. I had a lot more questions that i will think of later, but yeah. Describe the whole experience if you will!"
As I've mentioned, I had the great fortune of being in the right place at the right time combined with the good fortune to have a friend who pushed me in the right direction.
I saw the boys during their first gigs in New York, saw them at the bandstand in Central Park, saw them at the Fillmore East for damn near every concert the played, saw most of the Capitol Theater runs--all the way through the 1972 pre-Europe Academy of Music run.
I've got a few stories of my own. Being back stage tripped to the gills with a piece of paper hanging around my neck saying "PRESS"--Jerry laughed his ass off at that one.
I guess during that time, I spoke--however briefly with all of the band members (including T.C.), and quite a few relative band members--e.g. Jorma and jack. Mind you, I never sat down and discussed the meaning of life or anything--just an astonished wide-eyed teenager with a close contact who gave me a Fillmore East shirt that got me around--maybe I was some sort of tolerated mascot. Beats me and I don't care.
Generally, I shut up and lay low and kept to myself--wisely.
Most of the time, the scene was hectic--especially between sets (and yes, there were two sets at each of the Feb, 1970 Fillmore East shows). I tried to stay out of the way, though, since I had the sacred shirt on, I was asked to run a few errands next door for food or grab onto an amp.
My finest moment came during one of the early F.E. runs. I was standing around, trying to keep out of harm's way. I had "accidentally" sampled the apple juice and was pretty high. Then, Jerry strolled by, looked at me and said a perfunctary "hi." He asked if I ever actually did anything, and I said, not really. That made him laugh that insane laugh of his. Then it happened. Then I opened my mouth--or rather my mouth opened itself. "Hey Jerry," it said, "Slip me four and a half." Oh-oh. Dumbass. Jerry stared at me for what seemed an eternity, then laughed demonically and held his right hand out. I slapped it, turmed mine over, and he returned the gesture. "Don't work so hard" was all he said.
Work--who could work after that? By the closing of the Fillmore East, the backstage was overcrowded, and I was relegated to actually having to--gasp--sit in a seat. Bummer.
I don't think that they were quite that accessible after 1973 or so.